Attracting butterflies to your garden can be done by adding certain flowers and creating conditions that make them feel welcome. A butterfly garden should receive a minimum of 5-6 hours of sun per day. Butterflies like water, shelter from the wind, and rocks to rest and warm themselves on. Adult butterflies need nectar to sustain them, and their offspring need host plants to feed on. Avoiding the use pesticides in a butterfly garden is also important, since pesticides are toxic to caterpillars and butterflies. Try using organic methods to deter pests, or if necessary apply garlic or hot-pepper spray as needed.
Adding a mix of annual and perennial flowers to the garden will provide flowering plants all summer long.
Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa) is hardy to zone 3. It’s a perennial that does well in full sun and provides plenty of nectar-rich blooms for butterflies.
Coreopsis are hardy to zone 4 and come in an array of colors, providing flowers all summer long. Coreopsis are especially favored by Monarch, Eastern-Tailed Blue and Common Buckeye butterflies.
Garden Phlox is wonderfully fragrant, comes in white, shades of purple and pink, and attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.
Asiatic Lilies are beautiful additions to any garden, are hardy to zone 4 and come in as many colors as you can imagine. They are wonderfully fragrant and are great for cut flower arrangements too. Of course, both butterflies and hummingbirds will approve an addition of these beauties to your garden.
Other annual and perennial flowers to add to your butterfly garden include Black-Eyed Susan, Butterfly Milkweed, Coneflowers, Cosmos, Yarrow, Hollyhocks and Zinnia.
For more information on creating a butterfly haven in your backyard or garden, visit www.gardenswithwings.com or University Of Minnesota , Creating a Butterfly Garden website.